Rangers manager Steven Gerrard has warned against talking about title races and media predictions ahead of the club’s first game of the Scottish Premiership season.
Gerrard’s side travel to Aberdeen this afternoon for what will be one of the toughest domestic tests of the entire season, playing a Dons side that will be motivated to prove they can challenge towards the top end of the table this season.
Much has been said about the direction Rangers are heading in under the former Liverpool man, but he has shrugged off all the hype that his side can challenge for trophies, preferring to focus on immediate challenges.
As quoted by The Daily Mail, he said:
We don’t want to put any targets or added pressure on them than is already on us at the moment. All I’ve said to them is just focus on each game at a time.
The idea is to make the team as strong as possible in each position and have variety in every position so we have the quality to compete across the whole season. But we don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves. The important thing is to focus on Aberdeen.
Every fan, every pundit, every media guy will have his opinion on where Rangers are at the minute. I don’t think we need to get involved in that. We have confidence and belief in ourselves.
We’re trying to create a culture, a winning mentality, in the dressing room which helps us grow stronger – but it will take time.
Often determinations are made about teams and managers far too soon into a new season and while things have been going well for Rangers so far this summer, there are massive tests on the horizon.
Aberdeen away, a tie against Maribor and a trip to Celtic Park are all on the horizon over the next few weeks and Gerrard is right to check expectations should one or some of these encounters not go his way.
This needs to be a long-term project and it’s pleasing that Gerrard sees it at that way too, rallying against the predictable media pressure and hype that has set Rangers up for a fall in previous seasons.
Do you think Rangers will get a result against Aberdeen? Let us know your predictions in the comments…